- du Plessis, David J.
- ( 1905-19 87 )South African Pentecostal leaderDavid J. du Plessis emerged in the years after World War II as ambassador of Pentecostalism to ecumenical Protestantism and the Roman Catholic Church. Du Plessis was born near Cape Town on February 7, 1905. During his childhood, his family became Pentecostal under John G. Lake (1870-1935) and Thomas Hezmalhalch (18481934), whose work led to the development of the Apostolic Faith Mission in 1913. Du Plessis joined the mission in 1917 and received the BAPTISM OF the Holy Spirit the next year. He attended Grey University and became a pastor in the Apostolic Faith Mission. He served as general secretary of the denomination between 1936 and 1947.In 1947, du Plessis attended the World Pentecostal Conference in Zurich, Swtizerland, and remained there to work as organizing secretary for what became the World Pentecostal Fellowship. He traveled to America in 1948 and worked closely with the Church of God (Cleveland,Tennessee), including a period as a teacher at Lee College. He later affiliated with the Assemblies of God.In the mid-1960s, du Plessis opened a dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church while attending the third session of vatican II. His efforts led to the establishment of a Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue, at a time when the Charismatic movement was spreading rapidly through the Catholic Church.Shortly before his death, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, invited du Plessis to deposit his papers at the school, where he became Resident Consultant for Ecumenical Affairs. The David J. du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality opened on February 7, 1985. He died in August 1987.Further reading:■ David J. du Plessis, A Man Called Mr. Pentecost (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos International, 1977); , Simple and Profound (Orleans, Mass.: Paraclete, 1986); , The Spirit Bade Me Go: The Astounding Move of God in the Denominational Churches (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos International, 1970)■ Walter J. Hollenweger, "Two Extra-Ordinary Pentecostal Ecumenists: The Letters of Donald Gee and David du Plessis," Ecumenical Review 52, 3 (July 2000): 391-402■ Martin Robinson, To the Ends of the Earth: The Pilgrimage of an Ecumenical Pentecostal, David J. du Plessis (Birmingham, U.K.: University of Birmingham, Ph.D. diss., 1987).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.